If you don't know who the Harlem Globetrotters are, you should climb out from under your giant rock that you've lived under for the last 90 years.
They are BY FAR the best entertainment you can find.
They are BY FAR the best entertainment you can find.
I've had the pleasure of taking my special needs son for 2 years in a row now, and it's been an amazing family adventure. We have a great time enjoying the game, and get an opportunity to do something together that works.
My husband is physically disabled, so many family things are just too difficult. Then my son's special needs make things even more difficult. Specifically his anxiety. Of his needs, that's actually the big one, because it stops him from doing a lot. That's why I really enjoy going to these games, and I'll tell you why.
It all starts when you walk up to the arena. Instead of THRONGS of people everywhere trying to buy tickets, selling merchandise and, well, the usual people who've had WAY too much to drink at most sporting events, the Harlem Globetrotters are a FAMILY event. So you walk up to families, smiles and fun.
Entering the arena, the customer service reps (we usually have to get a special seating arrangement for my disabled husband. While he isn't wheelchair bound, he CANNOT safely walk down the stadium stairs... bad things usually happen!) are VERY friendly and helpful. Instead of just pointing to our area, they actually walk us to our seats & help us out. It's wonderful. The disabled seating is similar to a box, in that it has a bar area in front of you to put your drinks on, so people in wheelchairs can roll right up to it. Then there are regular chairs right next to it for the rest of the family.
Just before the show, there is a time for people who've paid a bit extra to be "in" the beginning of it - They call it a "Magic Pass" which allows you the following exclusive pre-game events (per their website)
- Shoot Hoops with Globetrotter Stars
- Learn Tricks with Globetrotter Stars
- Get Autographs and Selfies with Globetrotter Stars
For the extra cost involved, I'd say it's WELL worth it!! The cost is fairly minimal considering what you have access to. Some people will say that you can get the autographs/selfies at the end of the game, which is true, they do offer a period which you can get balls/souvenirs signed... HOWEVER, I will warn you that there are at least 2-600 other people thinking the EXACT same thing! There are usually at least 40-60 people at EACH Globetrotter waiting for a signature. And since they haven't figured out a great way to get people to stand in line, most are just pushing their way through the crowd... but more on that later.
If you're interested in looking into the Magic Pass for the next Globetrotters event, you can watch a great video below on a child who's been able to "learn" how to spin a ball on his finger. Adorable!!
The show starts out with some local talent and fun. This year there was a great dance team that did a good job. There was even a set of VERY young dancers. They were cute!!
After that Globie comes out, and does his thing. This is usually one of the funniest parts of the performance, as somehow, he usually ends up falling. That's great to see.
This year, the game was extra special, because it was the Globetrotters 90th anniversary. To be able to say that we were there for that game will be something that we enjoy forever.
During the game you're allowed to purchase souvenirs, including large/small balls, shirts and much more. The prices are quite reasonable. Small balls were $20 and large were $25. Makes SO much more sense to go full size!!
After the game, the announcer says that they'll be starting autographs. The downside of this, is it's a timed event. Somewhere right about a half hour or so. There are about 10 or so Globetrotters, but trying to make your way around ALL those people, in that small amount of space (there is usually a couple feet between the ropes and the first set of chairs, so you're constantly having to climb over chairs. My kiddo fell at least 3 times. It actually brought out the best in a family nearby though. They had a VERY tall teenager with them, who saw our struggles. The aunt that took them invited my son & I to walk with them through the crowds to get the signatures. This was really great because the teen was SO tall with such long arms, that he could basically put the ball right in front of the Globetrotter & get them signed with ease! He helped us get several signatures before the end, which was SO sweet.
In the end my son had a ball full of signatures, a very happy day and lots of memories. Just like last year. This is something that our family with keep with us, regardless. Can't wait until next year!!!
One of the big things that I REALLY love about the Globetrotters, is their giving nature towards a variety of great causes. Their "Ambassadors of Goodwill" causes include stopping bullying, making fitness fun, and especially their hospital outreach program, which targets children that are in the hospital with illnesses that keep them from going to games.
Be sure to check out their Ambassador page, and see all the great things they're doing!!!
*We were given tickets to enjoy the show, compliments of US Family Guide and the Harlem Globetrotters, in exchange for a blog post about our time. No other agreements were made, no other compensation was given.*